Khalsa aim to go hunting for more success
Sporting Khalsa boss Ian Rowe is hoping some end of season silverware will help his side kick on next season, writes Nick Elwell.
Rowe’s charge wrapped up their campaign in style with a 4-1 triumph against Highgate United in the final of the JW Hunt Cup at Molineux.
And now Rowe, who guided Khalsa to a third-placed finish in the Midland League Premier Division and the last 16 of the FA Vase this season, is looking for further progress next term.
“It was nice to end the season with a piece of silverware,” he said.
“This group needed to win something together and now we have done that, hopefully we can kick on next season and have a good go in the league.
“We were in a good position around January and February but we ended up third.
“But we have won a cup and reached the last 16 of the Vase and lost in the semi-final of the Walsall Senior Cup on penalties.
“Next season will be my fifth in charge and the club is making progress. But we want to get in that league above.
“The Midland League is a very tough league to win. I think the top five or six in this league would all do well in the one above.
“There are talk of possible play-offs being introduced which would mean the chance of two sides going up.
“We will need to tweak things a little bit and bring two or three in to add some more experience.”
The JW Hunt Cup success was Khalsa’s second triumph in four years and they called the tune from the start at Molineux.
The lively Mensah Kinch opened the scoring in the 29th minute when he cut in from the right and drilled home a low shot.
Striker Jay Holdcroft blazed over a good chance soon after half-time but quickly made amends when his low shot made it 2-0 on 49 minutes.
Holdcroft paved the way for the third goal three minutes later when keeper Brad Catlow blocked his shot only for Mykel Beckley to slot home the rebound.
Highgate’s chances of a recovery were hit when they were reduced to 10, referee Andy Ellis giving a straight red to McCauley Manning for his tackle on Carlo Franco.
Yet Highate got a lifeline seven minutes from time in this battle of Midland League Premier rivals when Lei Brown scored from the spot after being brought down by keeper Sam Arnold.
Trying to reduce the gap two minutes into time added on, Highgate sent Catlow up for a corner but the keeper was left stranded as the ball was cleared and could not get back to his goal before substitute Alex Perry rolled the ball into an empty net.
The competition has enjoyed another successful year with more than £10,000 raised for Beacon, which supports those living with sight loss.
The JW Hunt Cup kicked off in 1926 and originally involved local businesses from around Wolverhampton. Since its inception the tournament has raised over £330,000 for Beacon.
JW Hunt Cup president Alex Hamil MBE, said: “This year’s tournament has been another huge success and it’s great to see such strong community spirit around the local area cheering on players. All the teams played excellent football and worked tirelessly to raise this mammoth total.
We would like to thank Wolves for once again letting us play on the historical ground and everyone who helped make the final happen.”